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Day 29 — Entering into the Extension of Divine Mercy

MOUNT LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA — Along the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Saturdays are normally a day of charity, when Christ's command to "do this in memory of me" is acted on, not just in the liturgical celebration of the Mass, but also in the pilgirms' striving to become living commentaries of the words of consecration, as they seek to love others as Christ has given his Body and Blood for them.

On the 29th day of their Pilgrimage, the Seton Route Pilgrims spent the morning at the Red Door Ministry of Divine Mercy Parish in downtown Pittsburgh, where they helped to make and distribute turkey, ham, bologna and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to distribute to those who were hungry, together with water, coffee, juice, bananas, lemonade and a lot of love. They also helped to sort and distribute clothes to those in need of particular items.

The Red Door ministry began during the Great Depression. Today it serves three meals a day five days a week as well as lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, it provides clothing, blankets, tents, personal hygiene products, to its friends in need, as well as the opportunity of showers and laundry on a regular basis. It is run by the cheerful and dedicated pastor of Divine Mercy Parish, Father Christopher Donley, who welcomed the Seton Route Pilgrims, trained them in their tasks, and collaborated with them amidst his othe duties.

After their morning of work, the Pilgrims had Mass at Saint Mary of Mercy Church on the premises (one of two Churches within Divine Mercy Parish). Father Donley celebrated Mass and gave the homily.

At the end of the Mass, he asked Seton chaplain Father Roger Landry to give an overview of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage for all those in attendance and the many who watch the Mass, which is broadcast on three different television channels.

After Mass, the pilgrims were treated to lunch provided by Brother André's Cafe, as they fêted and said goodbye to Father Joseph Mary Deane, CFR, and three novices of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Brothers Joshua Miriam Van't Slot, Philip James Gorham and Felix Connolly. They also welcomed two new CFRs who will be with them for the upcoming week, Father Seraphim Baalbaaki and Brother Joseph Pio.

The Pilgrims had the rest of the afternoon off. At night, they had a joint dinner with their host families together with representatives from the Diocese of Pittsburgh and St. Michael the Archangel Parish, followed by a bonfire at the home of pilgrim Christoph Bernas and his family.


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